|Stylistic origins||Post-hardcore, emo, hardcore punk
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s San Diego|
|Typical instruments||Drums (double bass drumming in second wave), bass guitar, electric guitar, vocals|
|Mainstream popularity||Initially underground; second wave experienced burst of popularity in the mid-2000s|
Screamo is a genre of music which predominantly evolved from hardcore punk, among other genres, in the early 1990s. The term "screamo" was initially applied to a more aggressive offshoot of emo that developed in San Diego in 1991, which used short, chaotically executed songs which grafted "spastic intensity to willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics." In the early 2000s, the genre name began to describe a different, slower and less dissonant style that borrowed from alternative rock. The term's application to the "second wave" is controversial among fans and practitioners of the earlier style. One musician alleged that the term "has been kind of tainted in a way, especially in the States".
The term "screamo" was initially applied to a music genre that began in 1991, in San Diego, at the Ché Café, with groups such as Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, Mohinder, Swing Kids, and Portraits of Past. These groups were influenced by Washington D.C. post-hardcore (particularly Fugazi and Nation of Ulysses), straight edge, the Chicago group Articles of Faith, hardcore punk band Die Kreuzen and post-punk, such as Joy Division and Bauhaus. Gravity Records and Ebullition Records released this more chaotic and expressive style of hardcore. The scene was also notable for its distinctive fashion sense, inspired by mod culture. The Crimson Curse, The Locust, Some Girls, and The Rapture. The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower incorporated the style into punk jazz. Much as emo was, the term "screamo" was always controversial in the scene.
The innovations of the San Diego scene eventually spread elsewhere, such as to the Seattle group The Blood Brothers. East Coast groups, such as Orchid,, Circle Takes the Square, pg. 99, Hot Cross, Saetia, and Ampere were influential in the continual development and reinvention of the style. These groups tended to be much closer to grindcore than their forebears. Powerviolence-inflected screamo is sometimes referred to as emo violence, a name half-jokingly proposed by In/Humanity.
The original screamo style is still practiced by a variety of groups, particularly in Europe. Amanda Woodward, Louise Cyphre, La Quiete and Raein are prime examples of the European scene. These bands often release their records themselves or through independent labels, often recording splits with other bands from the same scene.
Although the contemporary DIY screamo scene is more prevalent in Europe, there are still many active bands in America. Examples include Comadre from Redwood City, Off Minor (ex-Saetia) from New York, Spires from Oakland, Ampere from Amherst, and ...Who Calls So Loud (ex-Funeral Diner and I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism in Your Yearbook.) from San Francisco.
Many first-wave screamo groups saw themselves as implicitly political, and as a reaction against the turn to the right embodied by California politicians, such as Roger Hedgecock. Some groups were also unusually theoretical in inspiration: Angel Hair cited surrealist writers Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille, and Orchid lyrically name-checked French new wave icon Anna Karina and critical theory originators the Frankfurt School.
First-wave screamo uses typical rock instrumentation, but is notable for its brief compositions, chaotic execution, and screaming vocals. It has been described, by music journalist Jason Heller, as "graft[ing] spastic intensity to willfully experimental dissonance and dynamics," indicating a kinship with noise rock. Later groups sometimes included synthesizers and other electronic sounds.
By 2002, the genre name drifted into the music press, especially in the journalism of Jim DeRogatis and Andy Greenwald. "Screamo" began to describe a different, much slower and less dissonant style, like Emanuel, that borrowed from alternative rock. These new bands incorporate commercial elements of rock, emo and post-hardcore. As the two styles are noticeably distinct, the wide contemporary usage of the term 'screamo' has been controversial among some critics. The Sacramento band Far, and the Canadian group Grade, were among the first bands to practice this variety of screamo.  The second outcropping of groups to be given the name include Thursday and Alexisonfire. Thursday also cited post-punk (Joy Division) and post-hardcore (Fugazi) as important influences, but also took cues from the alternative rock of Radiohead, U2, and The Cure. In contrast to the DIY first-wave screamo groups, Thursday and The Used have signed multialbum contracts with labels such as Island Def Jam and Reprise Records. Bert McCracken, lead singer of The Used, stated that "screamo" is merely a term "for record companies to sell records and for record stores to categorize them." The groups generally prefer to be described as post-hardcore.
Second-wave screamo typically makes use of dual guitars and eschews guitar solos, and is most identifiable by its "frequent shifts in tempo and dynamics and by tension-and-release catharses." Unlike the first wave of screamo, the second-wave of screamo bands often compose pop ballads. Second-wave screamo has been described as "mixing the literate, poetic lyrics of emo with a harsher and more metallic brand of sonic thrash" as well as use occasional screamed vocals "as a kind of crescendo element, a sonic weapon to be trotted out when the music and lyrics...reach a particular emotional pitch".
Screamo is musical genre which came from emo and hardcore punk in the 1990's. This kind of music uses vocalists, people who scream a lot, instead of singers like most other bands use. The music usually is fast paced.
Screamo bands include Saetia, Orchid, Circle Takes the Square, Envy and Thursday.
The term is also used for bands that use some screaming but have plenty of normal singing in the music, even more singing than screaming. Examples of that include bands Silverstein, Hawthorne Heights and The Used.